Epilogue

In less than a week, I will return to Singapore and I will return to being a “regular” person. Honestly, i am terrified.
I have come to conclude that missionaries are all afraid to go home because home is what we used to be but we dont really have to go home. We can stay changed, we can be different from what we once were.
I had a friend once tell me that she hoped i didnt change after i came home. I said i wouldnt but i made an empty promise because i changed for the better. I know and have learnt so many things being out here. From independence to leadership to knowing who i am and who i can be
I have learnt that of all the things that the mission has taught me so far, i would say that love is the key to making life more meaningful. The love of God and the love of everyone are paramount in making decisions that affect our ultimate destiny. The love of our future family is absolutely necessary to happiness in the home and the love of your fellowmen brings peace and happiness in all other situations.
While i am still absurdly far away from an adequate understanding, my mission has taught me volumes about love. And while i’m sure it has something to do with the calling, there have been some previous sacred moments on my mission where I have been able to catch a glimpse of how the Savior sees a particular person. It’s those moments that have taught me that love transcends relationships. It’s more than a feeling or an emotion. It’s a virtue that flows from a loving God. We must choose to love, we have to pray to love and when we do, we will have moments where we can catch the smallest glimpse of how God loves his children and that glimpse will do more to help us understand the nature of God than any thousand talks or sermons the subject.

I love the words in Jacob and i’ll finish it with his words….wherefore, I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream..

It truly has been.

Its all true. every single particle of it.
Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

17.6

When we hug a little tighter, our hearts grow a little closer. 
WHAT A WEEK.
We had a ridiculous zone council. Probably the best one I’ve ever attended or instructed on. It’s pretty fitting too because it was my last one.
Because the assistants didn’t give an instruction at mission leadership council we had the great opportunity to come up with our own instruction tailored to the missionaries in our zone. We decided to break all forms of social norms and give one that has never been done before. Instead of focusing on finding new people to teach or teaching skills we decided to instruct on reactivation and how to help inactive members come back to church.
Over the course of my 2 years, there has been a gargantuan focus on finding and teaching so we obviously had some doubts whether this was appropriate but I had the wonderful opportunity to view the hand of approval from on high because of coincidence that never really happens when you’re a missionary. SO! right after we finished our planning for the instruction. we had a call from S Morgan and Jensen (who are fabulous singers btw). They say they there was a sweet ysa investigator they found for us. we went right over and we talked to him and turned out he was a member but super less active! We applied our EXACT instruction that we just planned 5 minutes before, found out his concern and he committed to come to church. MAN. IT WAS SWEET
The instruction was received very well but we weren’t done. About a week prior to our meeting, we called up several recent converts from the area and invited them to come and speak to our missionaries. They bore POWERFUL testimonies about the sanctity of missionary work and how despite hard times befall us to never give up. “”Someone like you converted someone like me. Never ever surrender”.
If the missionaries weren’t moved, the last part of the meeting brought tears to everyone’s eyes. About a month ago. I emailed every single parent of the missionary in the zone and asked them to write a letter of encouragement and support without telling their son/daughter. its the thing you get at girls camp but they did it and we gave the missionaries the letters in sealed envelopes and we told them to go to a corner of the chapel to read it.
Its hard being on a mission. You talk to family and friends only once a week, sometimes people don’t even support you back home. you face rejection everyday and you have so many expectations and pressure to perform and you’re usually hated by everyone. With that as a backdrop, as the missionaries read their letters of support from home/people they are close to, it helped them regain an excitement and a sense of hope.
It’s meetings like this that make me so grateful for the opportunity to be a leader in the mission. i saw the joy and light in their eyes and it just made me so so happy. I didn’t benefit at all from this but i saw the joy and light in their eyes and it just made me so so happy and i dont mean this in a prideful way at all. I felt good that i made a difference in their mission life. 
MAN. 2012-2014 will forever hold a special place n my heart. 
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

17.5

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…………
Hello!!
I talk about it a lot but Canada’s weather fascinates me all the time. It snowed last saturday. It was as if the weather was like, yep, its November, winter is coming. Man, its changed so much since i got here 2 years ago. When i arrived in December 2012, the ground was still green and leaves were still on the trees. It feels like everything has been on fast forward since. Leaves are a smorgasbord of red and yellow and gold, everyone is out with rakes and leaf blowers and flakes of snow pepper the ground every so often. Ah, i love Fall. Its definitely the prettiest and most idealistic season all year round 🙂
There was enough snow on the ground for snowballs but i still could stick my tongue out and catch the first snowflake. We called one of the missionaries from Malaysia who’s never seen snow before just to see how she was liking it and her companion said that she couldn’t concentrate all studies as she was just staring out of the window 😀 I remember when I was a little kid and I saw snow for the first time on the fjords in Norway, I ran into my parents room screaming my head off.
It was a wonderful week though, we had the opportunity to minister to alot of the missionaries of whom we have stewardship over. Some have been going through distress and it was neat to have the opportunity to listen to them vent and just be there for them. Man! I love how the mission prepares you for life. We have so many opportunities to lift and inspire and it just hones you and makes you such a better individual.
There are very few opportunities where I’m able to see growth in myself but I had one of the rare moments this week when we bumped into a missionary of another faith. 2 years ago when I first came out, I ran into missionaries of that faith on the street and I clearly remember how contentious i was, wanting to prove them wrong through fancy words, belittlement, scoffing at their interpretation of life and basically tearing them to pieces but last week, I heard what he had to say and all i did was share my experiences and testify how it really helped me. There were no heated words, prideful comments or negative things said. And on hindsight, it felt really good. There’s too much contention in the world. Families are being torn apart by harsh words and actions, friendships are broken by arguments and pride and it’s unfortunate but it’s true. Ultimately, I feel if i didn’t learn anything on my mission, I’ve learnt to be a better person 🙂
It’s been such a fun 2 years!!! I’m really excited to see what I can learn in the last few weeks. I realised I’ve learnt something every single week and I really want to apply it as soon as i can.
Life’s so good. Have a exciting week! 😀
The mountain won the hammer!!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

17.4

Be independent 

Hello! It was a great week, not a ton of things happened but there was 2 awesome experiences that made a huge impact on me.
We met with one of the members this week at a Tim Hortons. For the unaware, Tim Hortons is like a cheap version of Starbucks that populates every city in Canada. They sell coffee and donuts. Missionaries love going there cause its a dollar for hot chocolate 🙂 Anyway, we were chatting and talking about stuff and as we were leaving, i felt my pockets for my wallet and it wasnt there. Reasoning with myself that i probably left it on the table when i changed my clothes midway through the day, i was prepared to drive off in the car when i had a huge feeling to go back and check the restaurant. I tried pushing the feeling away because we were going to be late for our next appointment and i have been frequently leaving my wallet in the apartment amidst in a rush to leave the house but the feeling came back even stronger, I decided to act on it. i pushed the car back into park and hopped out and told E Kunz i needed to go back and check to simply push that thought away from my mind.
We trooped back to Timmys and went to the corner where we sat, and lo and behold there sat my wallet on the floor. It slipped out of my pocket and fell through the chair. My eyes widened and I said a silent prayer of thanksgiving in my heart. The inconveniences of losing credit cards,  identification as well as money would have been difficult to handle.
On hindsight, it was sweet to see that someone was watching over me. the gut feelings that you get can’t just come from yourself, even after trying to mentally push it away, it still came back. Those feelings don’t come often but its often something to remember and cherish.
We also met up with C. He’s a member of less than a year. About a year ago, i interviewed him for baptism and he was sweet. Quickly after his baptism, things happened and he started turning into hard drugs and lots of alcohol, he also disappeared off the face of the earth, missionaries have bumped into him occasionally but he never stuck around enough. Recently though, we bumped into C and he recognised me as the one that interviewed him. Because of our previous association, we were able to meet up with him and he shared with us that he’s been down in the dumps and been in and out of jail. We gave him a BOM to read and he called us that night and said that he said everytime he flipped to a random page, the first thing that he saw was something he needed. He also said that for the first time in a year, he prayed and he felt something. We promised him that sometimes we do things that push ourselves away from God but he never gives up on us and is always reaching out to us. Something we said struck a chord with him because he started to change. He called his girlfriend of 2 years who did nothing good for him and broke up with her. He brought out his bottle of vodka and we watched as he poured it down the sink and rinsed the bottle. He also gave us his carkeys and told us to keep them because he was afraid that he would drive over to his girlfriends house and be persuaded not to breakup with her. He proceeded to crush his cigarettes and throw them away.
We shared with him about how there were so many things that he was doing right now but how no one, even God expects instant perfection but constant progression. I love that principle, to strive to be better today than you were yesterday. Its not easy but its so worth it. He knew that the breakup was gonna hurt for the next few days, weeks and even months but we promised him that one day he was going to wake up and realise that was the best thing that he ever did. In life, there’s always a story to our current state of being and we said that today was that day where things became better.
One of the things i’ll miss most is seeing people change on such a consistent basis. Being present when people have that spark in their eyes, that twinkle of realisation that they can change. ahhhh. good times.
Have a great week!!!
2 pictures of the district! 
 
We won the hammer for finding the most new investigators in the zone 🙂 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

17.3

Its glorious

Hello!

It’s been such a blessed week here in Hamilton. Despite how sketchy the place is, I’m still really enjoying myself. There are so many interesting people here that you can have a great conversation with.
This week we helped B demolish a deck on the patio. haha who knew demolition was super fun. we wielded sledgehammers and other fun toys to tear it apart.. He baked us a pumpkin pie after and he was hilarious. Being missionaries, out of courtesy, we eat everything and try to finish it even if it’s not the tastiest thing around and this was one of those times where the pie tasted really odd. We watched as he gave a slice to his Dad and looked on in horror as his Dad spat it out and told him it tasted terrible. As he told us the ingredients, we soon found out that he mistook Allspice for every single spice on his spice rack…i didnt know whether to laugh or cry. hahaha it was an interesting experience indeed, i never had bay leaves and dried parsley in my pumpkin pie before 😉
I had the wonderful opportunity to go back to Burlington! For the avid follower (mom&dad) haha, you’ll remember that i was there like exactly a year ago. It was nice going back and seeing some of the people again. I was talking to S Neil and at that time she wasn’t coming out to church at all, but since meeting with us and missionaries after, she has started to come back and it was awesome going back and seeing the chance in countenance and she had such a happy spirit about her. It was wonderful and such a great testimony.
As Hamilton is so close to the states, there have been alot of bustle about the new Meet The Mormons movie thats airing in the states. While i have not seen it yet, i heard so many cool things about it and David Archuleta recently released a super good single entitled Glorious. Check it out here!
There was another video that i watched
Its been a great week!!! Take care 🙂
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

17.2

you dont ever lose by loving, you lose by holding back

Hello

Welcome (back) to Hamilton! Its interesting being back here and i was in the area about a year ago but this time instead of being in the family ward, i’m still working with the 18-30 year olds! I’m grateful to be able to still be working around them. Its really fun and making things really easy going.

Being in a new zone, it was a unique experience getting to know all the missionaries. I love the zone already though, we have missionaries from a myriad of countries. From England to the Cook Islands, it was like being in the MTC again in Utah. We have a brand new missionary from Malaysia so it was really fun talking to her and talking about the things we had in common.
Zone Council was awesome though! We set appropriate goals and focuses to help the Hamilton area be successful. I love it when missionaries participate in discussions though, it makes it so much more fulfilling and fun. I’m excited for the next 5 weeks to see what miracles and stories come out of it 🙂
This past weekend was also Canadian Thanksgiving! it was way awesome. The streets were dead over the weekend which was really comforting. haha, it shows that people at least value some sort of family time. We were invited to the Cushings, a wonderful  family, recently converted to the gospel for dinner and it was magical! Right before the dinner was served, he went down on one knee, brought out a diamond ring and told his wife that he wanted to be sealed and married again but this time for time and all eternity. Everyone got so emotional it was awesome!!
Turkey and stuffings aside, it was a great weekend getting to know everything and exploring the city of Hamilton. We made it out to Niagara for a meeting with a family, we drove past the falls and from where i was sitting it looked amazing! I cant wait to check it out in a few weeks.
Its been an awesome week so far, hopefully it’ll go by slower though :/ haha
have a great week ahead!
-Hamilton Zone!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
– Chilling with the Marshalls (check out that iphone6)….
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

17.1

Acknowledge and face your weakness but never be immobilized by them – Jorg Klebingat

Hello!

The last 6 weeks were a blur and it still boggles me how time flies when you’re having fun. Kitchener was a blast though and i’m so thankful for the wonderful miracles that i’ve seen in the past week. Unfortunately, I’m leaving Kitchener for Hamilton. While i’m really excited to be there and see the new things that await me, i’m bummed that i’m leaving. Its the same feeling when you come in to a place that struggling and you set a long term goal to fix it and you leave half way through. Its an empty feeling of fulfillment. Thankfully E Healey is staying though and he’s more than capable of bringing things back to the way they should be.
General Conference was a huge highlight of the week. I loved all the talks but Jorg Klebingat’s talk really stuck out. He mentioned about the principle of forgiveness and being kind and always being responsible for our actions. I feel in society today, alot of us, me included shirk responsibilty at times, we hold grudges and murmur when people cross us. It was a good reminder to me that life isnt meant for us to be unhappy with one another and for us to eschew our responsibilities. Its about growth and progression, its not about letting yesterday’s faults plague our mind or change the past and because of that we shouldnt let that bring us down. we are basically the CEO of our lives and i feel its important that we remember that 🙂
We met B for the first time this week this week she has lived in Calgary her whole life interacting amongst LDS folks and she said that for some reason this summer she felt a strong inclination to learn more. She is so prepared and so open to change and such a honest seeker of truth. The beautiful thing is that we really help her develop that relationship with deity and let her find out what is truth. The power to choose is so precious and i think its something everyone should have.
Man, its been such a great week in the Kitchen. Im excited to go to hamilton and actually see the place Batman the dark knight was filmed at.
Take care!!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment